|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Jellicoe Nursery School
6A Rochford Street, Gospel Oak, NW5 4QY
|1918 - 1940s
Open Air School
The Jellicoe Nursery School was established during WW1 to meet the needs of members of the Jellicoe Club, a war club for women at No. 14 Rochford Street. (Presumably the Club was named after the naval commander of Jutland, Admiral Sir John, later Earl, Jellicoe.) The idea had originated from the Club's Honorary Treasurer, Mrs H.J. Evelegh, who persuaded the Committee to allow two rooms in the Club house to be used for this purpose.
The Nursery School opened in 1916 in the rooms which had been simply and artistically decorated. The cost of their furnishings had been met mainly by the family of the late Mrs Whitehouse, a much loved club member. Mrs Whitehouse's sister, Miss Black, was a active committee member of the Nursery School.
By 1918 the increased number of children necessitated finding larger accommodation. The idea of an Open Air School, such as the McMillan Open Air Nursery School in Deptford, appealed to Mrs Evelagh. She had been distressed by the frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases in the School and felt that the children had an urgent need for sunshine and fresh air.
An appeal was made to the Committee and £400 raised. This was spent in adapting a disused cowshed and yard at the back of the Club building, which had its own entrance through a passageway in the terrace of houses at No. 6A Rochford Street. Recent legislation enabled the School to receive a grant from the LCC.
By 1921 more accommodation was needed and a staffroom and cloakroom were adapted from a second shed. The School then had 40 children.
In October 1929 an Appeal was launched to raise £1,200 to rebuild and extend the premises. It was obviously successful as, by the early 1930s, there were 58 attendees.
References to the Nursery School are limited, but 1930s maps show new buildings surrounding the yard, and it was indicated in local directories up to 1940, but not later. Presumably it closed, as did many other such establishments, soon after the outbreak of WW2.
Present status (August 2013)The local area and the Nursery School buildings survived the Blitz, but not the developers. The entire area was razed to the ground by Camden Council in the 1960s to build new housing estates.
It is hard to match the original line of Rochford Street with the new housing blocks. Most of this area is covered by the Wendling estate complex.
The yard where the Nursery School flourished is now under a parking area behind the western block of the estate, off Southampton Road.
9th June 2014)
Stevinson E 1923 The Open-Air Nursery School. London, J.M. Dent. Pp 62-63.
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